Having the Conversation
Next week, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) will host a forum called “Reimagining Behavioral Health on Campus, Part II.” The event continues a conversation in which presidents and academic leaders hear directly from counseling center directors and student affairs professionals about what really goes on at the student level regarding behavioral health on campus.
“Until you learn first hand about the complexity of the clinical presentations that students arrive with, it is hard to grasp the enormity of this challenge,” said Zoe Ragouzeos, EVP of Wellness and Counseling Services at New York University. “These same professionals are also in the best position to develop new solutions, along with our campus partners, that can help all students on campus.” Dr. Ragouzeos will discuss peer to peer mental health support in a college setting, presenting both the work of MCI and an initiative she has piloted at NYU.
Mental and Behavioral Health
In another example of administrators at all levels connecting on the continued challenges of student mental health issues, the American Council on Education’s (ACE) annual meeting included a session devoted to exploring new research on how colleges can support student mental health needs. The research presented came from a study of eight colleges, all of whom have been collecting data on their student wellbeing initiatives through the Wellbeing Improvement Survey for Higher Education Settings. “Their core message was that administrators should start small, experiment with interventions, frequently assess how students feel about the interventions, and change course as needed,” The Chronicle
writes. Tailoring support to different student demographic groups is also critical.
The New York Times delves into the debate around trigger warnings for college course content after Cornell University’s president vetoed a unanimous resolution from the student assembly requesting them.
The Los Angeles Times reports on the latest school districts to join an ongoing lawsuit against several major social media companies, accusing their technologies of harming youth mental health.
The Associated Press features a new partnership between actress Taraji P. Henson’s Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation and the Kate Space Foundation to support the expansion of mental health resources at historically Black colleges and universities.
Diverse Education highlights the recent virtual conference, “Unapologetically Free,” held by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the Steve Fund, and Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) to home in on the mental health of students at historically Black colleges.
In light of some thinking that awarding grades in college exacerbates mental health issues, Inside Higher Education polls students about their attitudes toward grading practices.
Two master’s students and DACA recipients write in The Hechinger Report about the mental health benefits of affording undocumented students a space on campus to receive tailored support.
For Times Higher Education, one university lecturer discusses his history with anxiety and depression, as well as the fear and stigma that come with opening up about mental health challenges in the academic environment.
In Forbes, the founder of Dream Lab for Teens, a program that helps students explore their life’s ambitions and develop relevant skills, may facilitate wellbeing by promoting personal and professional growth.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
reports that senators in Florida have edited the state’s higher education bill to omit some of its most controversial elements, including all references to “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” The bill preserved, however, bans against teaching “theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political, and economic inequities.”
While USA Today
suggests few higher education leaders have spoken out against the DEI bans sweeping states across the country, a new campaign uniting over 100 former college presidents will seek to challenge this type of legislation.
A student op-ed for The Ithacan discusses the “glamorization” of disordered eating in the college setting and urges her peers to avoid commenting on their or their friends’ bodies and eating habits.
The Daily Cardinal covers a student petition, which garnered nearly 2,000 signatures in less than a week, advocating for additional funds and staffing to support mental health services at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The Yale Daily News reports on ongoing efforts by a coalition of students, alumni, and faculty to establish an official department dedicated to disability studies, which would encompass matters of mental health.
An op-ed in The Chronicle highlights how poorer institutions are more susceptible to government oversight and censoring. “Reliance on public funding renders colleges increasingly vulnerable to legislative overreach,” the authors contend, “and thus to restrictions on academic freedom.” They advocate for policies that will protect academic freedom at all schools, not just private ones.
Sexual Assault and Title IX
An investigation by The Los Angeles Times uncovers multiple instances of sexual assault allegedly taking place aboard the ship where California State University’s Maritime Academy students have trained for decades. In the last four years, students have reported offenses against them that span rape, assault, and harrassment, while The Times finds the school has “not followed consistent procedures for handling wrongdoing on the vessel.”
While the Supreme Court presides over the future legality of the abortion pill mifepristone, Justice Samuel Alito has issued an order ensuring its temporary availability until the ultimate decision comes out. Given that the order expired last night (4/18/23), The New York Times suggests the Court’s final ruling may be imminent.
The Hechinger Report explores why interest in trade programs seems to be on the rise as enrollment in higher education at large continues to decline. The primary explanation for the success of these schools may stem from the clear and expedited path to the professional world they offer compared to traditional alternatives.
The Washington Post
homes in on a debate rocking George Washington University about whether or not to arm campus police. While supporters say arming officers could protect against possible campus violence like mass shootings, detractors hold it would make them feel less rather than more safe at school.
Higher Ed Dive
reviews a recent report by Comparitech, assessing the prevalence of data breaches at schools and colleges across the U.S. Of the more than 30 million individual records leaked from these institutions since 2005, the most (almost 2.6 million records across 771 institutions) occurred in 2021. These numbers dropped in 2022.